Air Charter Evacuation - An Essential Component to Your Emergency Response Plan
An increasingly uncertain world necessitates more vigilance and planning than ever. This includes dealing with political upheaval, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events. For organizations that have personnel, their families, and assets in harm's way it is critical to have an emergency evacuation plan in place. Air charter evacuation can be an essential tool in your emergency preparedness toolbox and a critical component of your ERP (Emergency Response Plan). Air charter transportation is faster and more efficient than any other mode of transportation and the preferred solution for many emergency planners.
Have an Air Charter Evacuation Plan in Place
The time to get around a conference table to figure out an evacuation plan is not when a hurricane is barreling toward your facility. Have a plan in place well in advance of any event. Build a profile for what your needs will look like.
- What size aircraft might you need to charter?
- Will you be bringing pets?
- What about air cargo and personal affects?
- Will you require a charter flight for a large group, or are business jets better suited for your air charter needs?
- How soon will you want to depart in advance of the emergency event?
- Where are the air charter flights departing to?
- Do you already have an emergency headquarters arranged?
- What about lodging and food?
Get together with your emergency response team and ask the hard questions that will enable you to develop an effective plan.
Select a Vendor in Advance
After you have developed your emergency air charter evacuation profile, including air charter group size, departure point(s) and what personnel and their families would be served by the emergency air charter evacuation, you will want to have a vendor in place well in advance of needing one. The analogy of trying to find a plumber only after your pipes explode is spot on; don't wait for the emergency event to start the vendor selection process.
Allow your emergency response team to have plenty of time to vet your air charter vendor. What is their experience with large group air charter evacuations? What references do they have? A business jet broker operates in an entirely different environment and may not know the intricacies of large group air charter that utilizes commercial aircraft. Lastly, you will want to agree to contract language before any emergency presents itself. Often these events develop at night or on weekends. Tracking down legal counsel to review an agreement can delay or outright preclude an emergency air charter evacuation.
Also, keep in mind that emergency events create peak demand for aircraft in an already tight market. Having a vendor to partner with can dramatically increase the odds of securing the appropriate charter aircraft. You will also want to be sure that your air charter broker understands the operational environment. This includes the maximum wind velocity and direction before the airport will close, the availability of staff and services at the airport (airport personnel are trying to manage their own affairs), the presence of flooding, and power disruptions. All of these on-the-ground factors that must be carefully monitored and considered.
Inform Your Personnel of the Air Charter Evacuation Plan
Once you have developed a sound strategic air charter evacuation plan, it is important that everyone understands what the plan is. Take steps to ensure that the passengers don't arrive at the airport with baggage that can't be carried, pets that cannot be accommodated, and travel documents that are not appropriate for travel. Departures can often be delayed because the evacuation plan has not been made clear to everyone. Large group air charter evacuations are complex and dynamic. Evacuations and emergencies are stressful. Make sure that your have a clear plan that is articulated throughout your organization. This includes making sure that vendors and customers are also well-informed of the air charter evacuation process.
Emergency planning can get shuffled to the bottom of your pile of things to do. Don't let that happen. Organizations are frequently judged by how they deal with emergencies. Don't add to an emergency situation by not being prepared.